It's such a broad sweeping statement and a generalization that it is hard to comment on.
It's like asking are pastors of large American congregations charlatans, if you get my drift. Of course not all of them are, probably not even the majority, but there are still many.
So although the statement has truth, it has to be dissected.
What it mostly goes about is people starting churches as a way to make a living, this is common.
I am going to post the following from a half formed lesson I am preparing for seven churches in Mozambique we are teaching. I apologize for it's rough state but it is a first draft.
Leading a Church
1. To recognise a true leader all you have to do is look behind him to see if anyone is following him. To be a leader it is obvious you have to have followers.
2. Being a leader is a big responsibility, and being the leader of a church is the most important leadership position anyone can have, because the Church is the single most important institution on earth. It directs and leads people in their eternal walk, and it is people’s salvation that is it’s most important calling. For a leader there can be no higher responsibility.
3. Paul tells us in Hebrews 13: 7-8...
Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
He tells us to “imitate our leaders’ faith”.
That means that as leaders our faith has to be the example others will follow. That means that because church is a family as we are told in Ephesians,
Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Eph 2:22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
We are to lead our church as if it was our family and us the father, and God as our Father.
4. But I have seen many churches which fall into the trap of setting themselves up as a business. The sad thing is that it is these churches which usually have many problems with the congregation and among the leadership and they eventually fail, or become very ineffective because the Holy Spirit is not in them.
5. I work for a nature conservation organisation called iSimangaliso which manages the land between Kosi Bay and St Lucia. We are set up as a business, because that is the best model for us. We have a CEO (Chief Executive Officer), a Financial Officer and Directors who deal with community issues, infrastructure and building, research, etc.
6. We have policies to deal with every challenge that we have, from Rhino poaching to gate entry times into the reserve. We are an organisation set up for a specific management purpose and we have rigid and set structures that we work in. We have disciplinary procedures for people who do not stick to policy,
7. Jesus did not see the church as a rigid structure; He sees it as a family. Paul tells us how the church should act in 1 Corinthians,
1Co 4:14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
1Co 4:15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
1Co 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
You can see that Paul is talking to the Corinthian church as if they were his children, as if they were family. He mentions the Gospel to them because the Gospel should be our guide, and he again urges them to imitate him.
If we are to be leaders, and we expect our church to follow us, and imitate us, it makes sense that our lives are to be examples for others to follow, and our guide is to be the Gospel. We should be the light on the hill!
Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven
People should see our good works so that they can give glory to God our Father! They should be imitating us as leaders as we give the glory to God. They cannot imitate us and give the glory to God if our lives are not lived according to the Gospel.
8. Jesus said in John 14:6,
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If a church starts thinking that no one can get to heaven except through it, it has a wrong perception of what Jesus established the church for. There are many denominations which today, place all the importance on the rules and regulations of the church, and very little on the Gospel.
Some churches are run as a business with strict policies and rules, and not as the family of God.
(Competition between leaders, members********************)
(money, stuff, tithing – provision will come with the Holy Spirit, not through rules, regulations and guilt trip preaching)
9. Some leaders have actually made their churches their idols! They are so busy in running the church, ensuring their position and collecting money and titles, that they forget the church is not theirs, it is God’s, and the people are His children.
Do we want our congregation to imitate fighting for position, coveting money and titles, or do we want our congregation to thirst for Jesus and the Word?
In Habakkuk we read:
Hab 2:19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.
Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him."
The church is God’s creation and He has placed us, Pastors, Elders and Deacons as Sheppard’s of His family. It is an awesome responsibility. We do not own our church, we Sheppard it for God.
As Sheppard’s, when we put our needs in front of our flock and our church, and the church becomes our “idol”, as Habakkuk said, there is no breath, no life in it. It will die.
10. Now that we have spoken about the role of leaders to the church and it’s flock, what about how leaders should treat each other?
Anyway that's the start of the lesson, as as you can see we recognize the problem and are working against it.